It Takes a Village


In 2004, I was faced with a "What if" decision that I couldn't shake.

What if I didn't drive anymore?

I was 35 years old at the time.  Living in Pewaukee, WI, located in a beautiful Lake Country just outside of Milwaukee.  I had an easy 30 minute commute to work.  Loved to drive.  Always found a reason to drive and explore the random, designated "Scenic Drive" routes throughout Wisconsin.  Driving was my "release" ... my escape.  My freedom.

What if I didn't drive anymore?

Indeed, a rather strange question for a young, independent-minded individual.  Unfortunately, not a strange question for me.  I lived with this question "in the back of my mind" since I was diagnosed 10 years earlier with a progressive blindness that most likely would require some future "adjustments" to my independent lifestyle.  While living life to the fullest, the hardest part was living with the "not knowing when".  My vision was stable.  I was driving with confidence.  Yet it was an important question.

What if I didn't drive anymore?

What if .... I were to "hang up the car keys" ... Okay then ... How would I get to work?  How would I run my errands?  How would I go grocery shopping?  How would I pick up something at the hardware store?  How would I meet up with family and friends for social gatherings?  How could I run over to help out a friend that needed a hand? ... or just hang out and have a cup of coffee? ... Okay, wine really.  (warm smile)  When you live in the suburbs, you quickly realize how much you are reliant on having your own car.   At the time, Uber and Lyft was 10 years away from arriving in Milwaukee.  Therefore, my only options were to:   1) Take the bus  2) Call a cab  3) Find rides with friends and co-workers ... Mmmmm, nothing I came up with was ideal both financially and convenience-wise.   It was a really hard, difficult question that had no easy answers where I was living at the time.

Until a "near-miss" incident occurred.

So I called up my realtor friend who gratefully introduced me to my then home 2 years earlier ... And we went exploring.  This was just to see what was "out there" that would make my life easier when that decision time came to stop driving.   Lo and behold, before I knew it, within 2 months, I was moving 20 minutes closer to town to a cute little Village of Wauwatosa, affectionately called "Tosa".  A very charming, quaint little Village that sits nicely in between the big city and suburbs.  Which meant that I was on a bus line, within easy walking distance to grocery stores, ice cream, restaurants, banks, ice cream, parks, running trails and ... did mention ice cream?  (warm smile)

It was one of the quickest "BIG" decision I made and even to this day, I'm amazed at how quickly I acted on this decision in a "pro-active" way vs "re-active".  Trust me, it was quick! Not an easy one because the home I was leaving behind was beautiful with a TON of beautiful, natural sunlight right on the edge of a Conservancy.  I still miss that place a lot.  Yet the move to Tosa was one of the best, easiest decsion I made.  Fast forward 12 years, Tosa became my best friend in 2016 when I decided ... on my own terms ... to "hang up the car keys".

Yes ... it takes a Village ... to help me stop driving.  (warm smile)

What if ... you had to make a big decision in your life within the next 2 months?  What would that be?  What would motivate you to act on that "instinct" you have right now?  What's stopping you from designing the life you want to live?

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